cookbooks David Chang Momofuku recipes

Cook the Book: Momofuku – Ginger Scallion Noodles

Day 3 of Inuyaki’s Momofuku Week lightens things up with a dish that has absolutely no meat in it.

Momofuku Ginger Scallion NoodlesGinger Scallion Noodles

One of the book’s easiest recipes the Ginger Scallion Noodles. David Chang says that ginger scallion sauce is “one of the great sauces or condiments ever,” and it’s one of Momofuku’s mother sauces. The ginger scallion sauce is a simple combination of finely minced ginger, thinly sliced scallions, light soy sauce, oil, kosher salt and sherry vinegar. I couldn’t find any sherry vinegar locally so I substituted it with rice vinegar, which worked nicely.

Chang says you can use this sauce on anything and encourages improvising, but I liked his suggestion of topping ramen noodles with the sauce, quick-pickled cucumbers and pan-roasted cauliflower. There’s a bunch of pickle recipes in the book, but my wife did her own version with sugar, salt, and rice vinegar to taste.

You can eat this on its own or as part of a larger meal. Either way, it’s a delicious and healthy option to offset the book’s meat-centric focus.

Makes about 3 cups

2½ cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
½ cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1½ tsp usukuchi (light soy sauce)
¾ tsp sherry vinegar
¾ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for 15-20 minutes before using. It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week…if it lasts that long. :)

Tomorrow: Fried Chicken

Korean musings noodles Publishes One of My Photos

I got an e-mail from’s online photo editor this morning asking for permission to use one of my pictures for an article on beating the summer heat with cold Korean noodles. Here’s the picture as it appears on their Web site (the photo credit is at the end of the article):

Gourmet version

She said that she found the picture on my Flickr account, which is where I store most of my food porn. What’s funny about the picture is that I didn’t recognize it at first, but as I was going through my pictures, I found the original:

Naeng Myun

Notice how pale and washed out it is compared to the delectable bowl of soup that published? Photoshop is great, isn’t it?

For the record, this bowl of naeng myun was taken at Korea House in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Hawaii Hawaiian Kauai noodles reviews shave ice

Eating Kauai

We were in Kauai for a wedding last weekend and didn’t have much time to explore the island and all its beauty, but we did our best to eat well. Here’s a rundown of our brief stay on the Garden Isle.

Hawaiian Blizzard

Hawaiian Blizzard is a shave ice stand that sets up shop Mon-Fri from 1:30-5pm in front of the Big Save market in Kapaa. We landed in Lihue at around 3pm Friday and went straight to Kapaa to get some shave ice before driving down to our homebase of Poipu, and it was definitely worth the trip.

If shave ice was judged on purely on the ice, Hawaiian Blizzard might be the best in Hawaii. Yes…better than my Oahu favorites, Aoki’s and Waiola, and it makes Matsumoto look like a regular snow cone. It’s the lightest, fluffiest and most divine ice I’ve ever had.

shave ice

Flavor selection is pretty standard, but I was excited that they had Melona, which in my mind is the perfect shave ice flavor. They might not have the flavors and varieties that the other guys offer, especially pretty standard add-ons like red beans or vanilla ice cream, but you can also opt for a “Snow Cap,” a drizzling of evaporated milk on top of the shave ice that’s a delicious alternative.

Hawaiian Blizzard
(in front of Big Save Market)
4-1105 Kuhio Highway
Kapaa, HI 96746 map
Hours: Mon-Fri 1:30pm-5pm

Hamura’s Saimin

Hamura’s Saimin is what’s great about eating like a local in Hawaii. It’s cheap, the service is friendly and fast, and even though the place looks like a hole in the wall, the food makes you forget your surroundings and focus solely on the amazing meal that’s sitting in front of you. Also, if you see tons of locals eating there alongside the tourists, you know the place has to be good.

My wife and I aren’t the biggest saimin fans, but if we lived in Kauai, we’d definitely be regulars. My main problem with saimin is the broth. A bowl of L&L saimin I had a while back reminded me of dirty socks. Hamura’s broth was delicious and erased that crappy bowl of saimin from my memory. We both ordered the Special Saimin and feasted on the roast pork, thin slices of ham, wontons, kamaboko, vegetables and hard-boiled egg that topped the perfectly cooked noodles.

We also ordered a couple of meat sticks (beef and chicken) and a perfect piece of tempura shrimp. We finished off the meal with a slice of their lilikoi (passion fruit) chiffon pie, which was light and airy…perfect after all the other food we had just polished off.

If you’re in Kauai, Hamura’s Saimin is probably the one place that you MUST visit. Otherwise your trip just isn’t complete.

Hamura’s Saimin
2956 Kress Street
Lihue, HI 96766 map

noodles reviews Southern California Thai

Ord Noodles

Ord Noodles is the name you’ll see on the storefront, but its Thai name is Kwayteow Hoi Ka, which means Dangling Leg Noodles. The owners previously had a restaurant in Northern Thailand along a river bank, and people would sit and eat with their legs dangling over the water.

Not surprisingly, Dangling Leg Noodles is also the name of their signature dish (#1 on the menu). It’s an amazing sweet/spicy soup filled with ground pork, red pork ball, dried shrimp, pork liver, and your choice of fresh noodles (rice stick, chow mein, or thick rice noodles). You can see the chili flake floating around the vinegar-based broth, so you know it’s packing heat. Adding Chinese-style char siu makes this a #4, which is what we ordered. The three of us split a large bowl for $5; small bowls are $3.

House Special Soup #4

We also ordered the rice plate with spicy crispy cicerenes (#21), which is basically chicharrones in a spicy sauce, and you can’t get much better than that. Our waitress said this was one of their most popular dishes and I saw at least three more orders go to other tables while we were there.

Rice with Spicy Crispy Cicerenes

We rounded out our order with some Thai-style sausages, which fall somewhere in between Chinese lap cheung and Filipino longanisa, and a mint leaf chicken dish that was good but had a bit too much cilantro in it for our taste.

Thai-style Sausage with Fresh Vegetables

If someone out there can direct me towards a Thai restaurant that’s more authentic, delicious and cheap (nothing on the menu is over $6), then by all means, point me in the right direction. If not, I’ll be happy eating at Ord Noodles whenever I’m in town and lament about not having a place like this in the Bay Area.

Ord Noodles
5401 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027 map

Chinese noodles Northern California reviews

QQ Noodle

People tend to give Fremont a hard time for not having great places to eat, but I don’t think they’re looking hard enough. Maybe it’s the lack of real fine dining or the plethora of national chain restaurants, but there’s a great selection of hole-in-the-wall ethnic food joints in town that more than make up for these “deficiencies.” In fact, ethnic diversity, both in people and food, was one of the reasons we decided to settle in Fremont.

QQ Noodle is one of Fremont’s gems. Noodles are hand-pulled on site by a chef from Beijing and there’s 19 different ways to order them. The dine-in menu is great, too, because it features huge, full-bleed pictures of all the dishes so you know exactly what you’re ordering.

I ordered the #1, the house special sour & spicy pork sauce noodles, and it was great. It’s basically noodles, pork, eggs, tomatoes and onions with a spicy sauce. I didn’t specify a level of spiciness, so I guess I just got the default, and it had a pretty good kick and lingered on my tongue for awhile. The noodles were really chewy and delicious. My wife ordered the #4, tomato & eggs sauce noodles. The noodles were thicker than in my order, and the sweet tomato sauce with eggs was a delicious, irresistible combination. The eggs were soft and light, kind of like what you’d get in egg flower soup. On subsequent visits, we’ve had the #2 San Hao soy bean paste sauce noodles and #10 beef stew noodle soup, and they were both delicious and hearty..

I still want to go up to SF or Oakland and try some of the hand-pulled noodle places up there, but with QQ Noodle in town. I can get my hand-pulled noodle fix just down the road.

QQ Noodle
3625 Thornton Ave.
Fremont, CA 94536 map

Best of Inuyaki David Chang Japanese Korean Momofuku New York noodles pork reviews

Momofuku Noodle Bar

I had been on a quest to find the perfect bowl of ramen in the San Francisco Bay Area for awhile, but I think I’ve found perfection at Momofuku. It was seriously the best bowl of noodles I’ve ever had.

This is not traditional ramen, but I don’t care. Instead of slices of chashu (roast pork), Momofuku’s ramen features an incredibly delicious helping of shredded Berkshire Pork. The broth is incredibly porky (exactly what I’ve been looking for) and contains peas and a poached egg (instead of hard boiled), which helps thicken the broth and give it some more flavor. There are no bean sprouts in this ramen either, but I don’t care for them anyway, so that wasn’t a big deal.

We started with an appetizer of Roasted Rice Cakes, which were served with a roasted onion/spicy chili sauce. This looked like a fusion version of the Korean duk bok kee, and it was a delicious way to start the meal.

Roasted Rice Cakes

I ordered the Momofuku Ramen, which also contained pork belly, a welcome surprise. I wanted to order an appetizer of fried pork belly, but that was vetoed by my wife (probably for the better considering how much we’ve been eating this trip). My wife ordered the special pork neck ramen, which featured braised neck meat and a thicker, flat Chinese noodle. My friend had the standard pork ramen, which was like mine but sans pork belly.

Momofuku Ramen

Momofuku is a bit overpriced for a bowl of ramen, but considering the quality of the ingredients and how good it is, I’m not complaining. And as I raised the bowl to my lips to finish off the last of the broth, the chorus for “The Search is Over” by Survivor starting playing in my head:

I was looking for ramen
Looking for the best
I went to New York
Unsure of what I’d find
Now I look into my bowl
The broth is gone forever
The search is over
Momo’s the best one in my mind…

Momofuku Noodle Bar
163 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003 map
Web site